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Eighth BlackBird 'Super-Musicians' to perform at F. Ludwig Diehn Center

The Los Angeles Times has characterized the four-time Grammy Award-winning sextet Eighth Blackbird as "super-musicians" who combine the finesse of a string quartet, the energy of a rock band and the audacity of a storefront theater company.

The Chicago-based group, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2016, will perform Jan. 23 at 8 p.m. in Old Dominion University's F. Ludwig Diehn Center for the Performing Arts as part of the University's Diehn Concert Series.

The group is renowned for performing around the world with impeccable precision and a signature style.

A winner of the 2016 MacArthur Award for Effective and Creative Institutions, Eighth Blackbird has been described by the Chicago Tribune as "one of the smartest, most dynamic contemporary classical ensembles on the planet." The group began in 1996 as six entrepreneurial Oberlin Conservatory students and quickly became "a brand-name... defined by adventure, vibrancy and quality... known for performing from memory, employing choreography and collaborations with theater artists, lighting designers and even puppetry artists," according to the Detroit Free Press.

Eighth Blackbird is comprised of Nathalie Joachim, flutes; Michael J. Maccaferri, clarinets; Yvonne Lam, violin and viola; Nicholas Photinos, cello; Matthew Duvall, percussion; and Lisa Kaplan, piano. The group's name derives from the eighth stanza of Wallace Stevens's evocative 1917 poem, "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird."

Tickets, which may be purchased at ODUArtsTix.com or by calling 757-683-5305, are $10 for students and $15 general admission.

Made possible by an endowment established by the Hampton Roads Community Foundation and a generous gift from F. Ludwig Diehn, concerts in this series bring significant classical and jazz musicians to Hampton Roads. Performances in the intimate, acoustically superb Chandler Recital Hall of the F. Ludwig Diehn Center for the Performing Arts are held on Mondays at 8 p.m. unless otherwise listed. Free master classes by the artists take place at 12:30 p.m. in Chandler Recital Hall on the Tuesday following the concert.

For more information, visit the Diehn Concert Series website.

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